Farmers and producers

Wallace named Young Farmer of the Year

[8 July/Stuff] Logan Wallace was named the Young Farmer of the Year. He was a sheep farmer from South Otago and beat six other contestants to win the competition. He has a certificate in agriculture and a diploma in rural business from Telford. He is also a Land Search and Rescue member. The contestants visited...

Mackenzie Basin: Fonterra dairying criticism rejected

[4 July/Radio NZ] Dunedin businessman, Murray Valentine, was behind the planned mega dairy conversion in the Mackenzie Basin. He was rejecting criticism from Fonterra about further intensification of the vulnerable landscape. He was originally granted consent for 15,000 cows but planned to put 2,000 on it by next year. Greenpeace campaigners chained themselves to heavy...

Farmer confidence ‘hanging in the balance’ amid M. bovis concerns

[5 July/NBR] According to a Rabobank survey, the impacts of Mycoplasma bovis were the main reason for a 100 percent rise in the number of farmers who expected the rural economy to worsen. Rabobank New Zealand General Manager for Country Banking, Hayley Gourley, said confidence was hanging in the balance with the number of farmers...

First woman to lead Feds arable elected to national board

[4 July/Rural News] Federated Farmers elected Karen Williams as its arable chairperson at its national conference. She would replace Guy Wigley who stepped down after three years in the role. She was the first woman to lead the Federation’s arable sector. She was previously a planner with the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and now runs...

Fuel tax hits

[2 July/Farmers Weekly] The Auckland fuel tax could cost some individual vegetable growers up to $100,000 per year. The industry was annoyed, calling the introduction chaotic and rushed. Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman, was unsure why KiwiRail was exempt from the tax but offroad vehicles used by growers, horticulturalists and farmers who would...

Big cheeses from UK and US cleared to buy farms in NZ

[2 July/Stuff] American millionaires Margaret and Gary Hirshberg are investing in New Zealand after getting approval from the Overseas Investment Office. They were cleared to buy a property near Motueka to set up an organic sheep farm and organic market garden. They also intended to do extensive native planting. The sellers got $4 million for...

Fuel tax to increase healthy food prices

[28 June/Rural News] The Regional Fuel Tax introduced by Labour this week has caused confusion in the horticulture sector. Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman, said the tax did not have an exemption system for off-road behind the farm gate vehicles and machinery. He added 441 fruit and vegetable growers in Auckland would be...

Top economist moves to Manawatu

[26 June/Farmers Weekly] A capital gap in the primary sector has led a leading rural economist to make the move from bank to investment company. Con Williams was appointed as head of MyFarm’s newly formed investment research division. He attended Fieldays under the ANZ banner for the last time and said he suspected the work...

Chinese owner fights access to NZ farm, says would harm NZ image

 [21 June/Stuff] Officials and the owner of a Wairarapa sheep station were deadlocked over public access to a forest hut and tramping trail. If the disagreement can’t be solved, the Overseas Investment Office has the power to order the property to be sold. The Chinese owner bought the Kawakawa station for $3.3 million in 2015....

Winner – Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year

[14 June/The New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators Inc.] New Zealand Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Mike Petersen, was named the 2018 Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year. He received a trophy and a cash prize. This was the 32nd year the title had been awarded. Mr Petersen was described as a superb communicator...

Gisborne flood is an adverse event

[12 June/Farmers Weekly] The Government has declared the flooding around the Tolaga Bay area a medium scale event according to Agricultural and Rural Communities Minister, Damien O’Connor. Metservice forecast heavy rain and severe gales for parts of northern and central New Zealand including parts of Gisborne where significant damage was caused. Mr O’Connor said the...

More families get farm awards

[11 June/Farmers Weekly] The 12th annual Century Farm and Station awards honoured 32 new families. People gathered to share stories and celebrate each other’s dedication, perseverance and success over the 100 plus years of farming. Regional Economic Development Minister, Shane Jones as well as others took part in the celebrations. Mr Jones presented the families...

More farmers feeling financial pressure from banks

[5 June/NBR] Even with improved dairy market conditions, more farmers were falling under undue pressure from their banks. Federated Farmers Vice-President, Andrew Hoggard, said confidence and satisfaction with banks remained reasonably high, and thought non-financial pressures were also impacting farmers. He cited government climate change policies and the emerging risk of Mycoplasma bovis as factors...

Lots of challenges for chief executive

[7 June/Rural Life] New Zealand Young Farmers Chief Executive, Terry Copeland, is set to take over as Federated Farmers’ new boss next month and admitted dealing with the ongoing impact of Mycoplasma bovis would be difficult. He said he was looking forward to his new challenge. He added he had a real passion for mental...

Federated Farmers pulls out of Northland GMO policy fight

 [1 June/The Country] Federated Farmers pulled out of attempts to overturn plans to ban GMO testing and growing by a number of local authorities. It had taken several court actions and subsequent appeals. It argued the Government’s Environmental Protection Authority regulations were protection enough, and local government’s measures were unnecessary. Federated Farmers were criticised for...

Mental health fears for farmers over mass cow cull

[29 May/Radio NZ] Experts are warning that the bid to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis outbreak could have disastrous knock-on effects on farmers mental health. The Government announced it was committed to eradicating the illness with a ten year plan that would cost around $886 million. Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said they had one shot at eliminating...

Swaps case comes at uncomfortable time for Kiwi banks

[21 May/NZ Herald] Controversy over how New Zealand lenders sold a complicated financial product to farms have resurfaced during a bad time for the reputation of the Australasian banking sector. It was revealed that former Dargaville farmer, Renie Gibson, is suing Westpac after she lost her farm during the financial crisis. The action remains live. ...

Stuff Decision Bad for Primary Industries

[18 May/NZ Guild of Agricultural Journalists & Communicators] Stuff recently decided to close its nationwide portfolio of farming publications. It was bad news for staff affected, the primary industries and the public according to President of the New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists, Elaine Fisher. She said the closure affects the jobs of 12 of...

Bank teams up with young farmers

[11 May/Rural News] Heartland Bank has teamed up with NZ Young Farmers to support young people at the forefront of the rural industry. The agri-food sector was a vital part of New Zealand’s economy and needed young people to fuel it in the future, according to the bank. Head of Rural at Heartland Bank, Chris...

Call for tougher penalties for rustling

[3 May/Rural Life] Federated Farmers Meat and Wool Chairman, Miles Anderson, urged farmers to keep the livestock theft conversation going. He called for legislation to be altered with tougher penalties introduced. Mr Anderson was pleased with the reception received from the select committee, and hoped the report would recommend stiffer penalties. He was personally targeted...

Chairwoman of state-owned farmer company leaving board

[27 April/NZ Farmer] Landcorp Farming’s board will need a new chairperson after Traci Houpapa and directors Nikki Davies-Colley, Pauline Lockett and Eric Roy reached the end of their allotted terms to act as governors of the State Owned Enterprise. The directors will be replaced by Nigel Atherfold, Hayley Gourley and Belinda Storey, who will join...

Farm sales dip in March quarter

[24 April/Rural Life] Farm sales for the March quarter fell 11 percent with 50 fewer sales than the same period last year. The spread of Mycoplasma bovis had an effect on sales in some regions. Arable was down almost 41 percent and grazing was down almost 37 percent according to Real Estate Institute of New...

Deer milk industry in the pipeline

[12 April/Dairy News] Landcorp is working on creating a deer milk industry. Landcorp General Manager of Dairy Operations, Mark Julian, said it was early days and that it was different to the sheep milk industry which had products on the market. He added the project was mainly research and development and that they were looking...

Poor farmer and processor relationships costing New Zealand

[10 April/NZ Farmer] Research from Lincoln University has shown poor relationships between farmers and their meat producers could be costing New Zealand. Lincoln University Senior Lecturer, Nic Lees, said improving relationships was essential and that from his survey New Zealand was missing out on higher market returns because of a lack of commitment and trust...